Rig Recycle was developed and trialed as part of Tangaroa Blue Foundation's ReefClean program, removing and preventing marine debris and litter impacting the Great Barrier Reef.
The project seeks to roll out the program in communities across Victoria, starting in 2023.
The aim is to divert specified recreational fishing items and packaging accessories from becoming litter in the environment or being disposed of in landfill by changing the recycling behaviours of consumers and retailers.
The Rig Recycle program is an Australian-first program that collects selected recreational fishing and packaging items and diverts them from landfill through an innovative repair, reuse and recycle framework. The project connects recreational fishers, community clean-up participants, recreational fishing retailers and suppliers, social enterprises and community partners in a holistic and truly circular program that fills a current recycling gap.
How does it work?
- Take your recreational fishing items to a Rig Recycle bin near you
- The items get collected, audited and entered into the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) Database
- The items are either repaired for reuse or recycled
What can you put in the bin?
- Fishing line
- Plastic line spools (that you buy your line on)
- Handline spools
- Hooks - preferably in good condition (not rusty)
- Sinkers - lead or other, in any condition
- Swivels - preferably in good condition (not rusty)
What can't go in the bin?
- Bait packaging, or any other smelly item
- Soft plastic packaging, recyclability is variable
- Soft plastic disposable body/tail
- Rods and reels
- Life jackets
- Flares. These should be disposed of appropriately - see your State or Territory guidelines
You can also download the Recycle Mate app, put in your location and the item and it’ll tell you where to recycle it!
Why is this so important to my fishing?
Fishing can produce a lot of waste, but this initiative helps reuse and recycle as much as possible to keep your fishing gear circulating and out of landfill. Responsible fishers love their local environment and reducing waste is just another way they are getting involved in looking after it.
DID YOU KNOW – Data from the Australian Marine Debris Initiative Database shows that fishing line makes it into the top 10 items found during clean-up events, with over half a million metres removed from over 4,000 clean-up events. That’s an average of 125m of line from every clean-up event around the country! RIG RECYCLE will reduce that number with 1,000s of recreational fishers behind the initiative.
How it all started…
When the “Look After your Tackle” campaign was launched to reduce recreational fishing litter in 2020 as part of the ReefClean program, we also identified that there was no recycling program available for recreational fishing items and their single-use packaging.
It seemed like a natural progression for the Tangaroa Blue team to work on finding a solution that would divert recreational fishing items either collected from clean-up events, or that fishers were looking to dispose of, from ending up in landfill.
So the Rig Recycle program was developed!
Starting as a trial using data submitted from clean-ups into the Australian Marine Debris Initiative Database, as well as feedback from recreational fishers and retailers, the need for the Rig Recycle collection and recycling system, that was able to accept not just marine debris items and broken and unwanted fishing gear, but also single-use packaging items from within the recreational fishing industry like fishing line spools and hard plastic tackle packaging, was identified.
The Rig Recycle program, in its collection infancy, hads 5 major goals which seek to ensure best practice across the entire supply chain and design processes:
- Recover - of fishing litter reducing environmental harm through the Look After Your Tackle campaign.
- Reuse – the reuse of recovered and unwanted items for a second use.
- Repair – through a network of recreational fishing organisations, items were it can be repaired, giving them a second life with social fishing charities.
- Recycle – all hard plastic recovered in the collection will be diverted to a circular recycling framework, providing recycled feedstock for new products, which themselves are recyclable through the Rig Recycle program.
- Reduce - by providing data from the collection program the types of material used in recreational fishing industry equipment and packaging can form staged goals for increasing their recycling feedstock content, designing better packaging solutions, replacing virgin materials and investing in local manufacturing solutions.
ReefClean is funded by the Australian Government's Reef Trust and delivered by Tangaroa Blue Foundation.
The Victoria Rig Recycle project is supported by the Victorian Government’s Circular Economy Communities Fund.
The NSW Rig Recycle project is supported by the NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts and delivered by Tangaroa Blue Foundation.